Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 51 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jan 2, 2013
    Urgent, heartfelt, and not-quite-as-predictable-as-you-think environmental rabble-rouser.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 27, 2012
    Director Gus Van Sant finds the human side of a knotty issue. No polemics. Just the face of a new America in crisis.
  3. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 4, 2013
    The characters drive this story, not ideology. Damon and McDormand are terrific as co-workers seeking the same goal, though they see their work from different points of view.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 27, 2012
    More an argument than a fully fleshed-out drama ... The script is unconvincing; two key narrative twists, one related to the other, are deeply hokey.
  5. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jan 13, 2013
    Like so many earnestly conceived morality tales, Promised Land is built around a man's quandaries. Any actor less skilled and sympathetic than Damon might have betrayed the material into obviousness. [14 Jan. 2013, p.78]
  6. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 28, 2012
    Unfortunately, much of what's good about Promised Land is easily forgotten as a result of the preachy, impossible-to-swallow final 15 minutes in which the protagonist is subjected to character assassination, the screenplay turns into a sermon, and narrative intelligence is discarded in favor of a message.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Dec 5, 2012
    Gus Van Sant's new film offends for how it views the struggles of the landowners at the heart of its story as subservient to their oppressor's triumph of the spirit.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. Jan 5, 2013
    Great acting and a great story. Worth seeing with all of the big blockbusters out in the theaters today. Like small town America, this film captures the charm and spirit of those of us who still believe in an American Dream that isn't filled with greed and the false promises of big corporations. Expand
  2. Jan 6, 2013
    Viewers Respond to Promised Land
  3. Jan 5, 2013
    In a nutshell: fine acting, skillful directing, beautiful photography, sublime soundtrack, murky screenplay. The politics in the movie are actually rather low key -- the other "reviewers" here clearly haven't seen the movie and are trying to push a "drill baby drill" perspective. The non-politics part of the screenplay is where the movie gets into trouble. Damon plays "Steve" who is supposed to be a hotshot closer who can get people to sign over their rights three times better than any other team. Yet he seems befuddled and confused through much of the whole process once he arrives in town to sign people's rights away. We're told he's good, but we never really see a gung-ho seller. Although Damon is a fine actor, I think he's miscast -- the part really needs an oily, dubious huckster like Brad Pitt. Frances McDormand is exceptional in her part, and Holbrook gives a sublime performance, although his part just disappears through the middle of the movie. Krasinski is exceptionally fine here and really lives the part of a glib gladhander. Rosemarie DeWitt is just wonderful in a beautiful performance. In sum, I wouldn't call this a "must see," but it's definitely worth a cable or DVD watching for the fine performances and lovely look of the movie. Expand
  4. Jan 21, 2013
    Average, but Promised Land benefits from Gus Van Sant's steady hand and some solid work from a talented cast. I don't see why everyone was so upset by the ending. I thought it was satisfying. Expand
  5. Jun 4, 2013
    Promised Land is an adequate political drama. It has a decent screenplay and some good performances, but nothing special here. The film, while solid, lacked urgency or any real conviction; it seemed like these actors were stuck in a bland movie Expand
  6. Dec 28, 2012
    I cant wait to see this liberal hogwash not only bomb but get made fun for years to come. While Matt Damon is probably a better actor then I am, him and clooney's liberal projects are so horrible I wish they would just stick to making semi funny heist pictures to pick apart America corporate greed. Expand
  7. Jan 6, 2013
    This is a trite and overly simplistic treatment of a complex issue. Please beware some of the positive reviewers, especially those criticizing negative reviewers are actually hired by the movie studios to troll review sits and make false reviews. Remember, Hollywood doesn't care about America and only is interested it advancing its bizarre agenda. Another horrible film that was too hard to watch. The powers-that-be in Tinseltown should stick to what they do best, nudity, profanity, and car cashes and leave serious issues to real people. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews